Brent Bozell

"Who was Bob Hope?" To anyone over 35, that seems like such a strange question. Bob Hope, everyone knows, was one of the greatest American entertainers of the 20th century, and whose greatest public service was his decades-long commitment to U.S. troops all over the world for many decades, which earned him the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among other honors.

And yet it's quite possible that a senior graduating from high school this month would scrunch up his face with a puzzled look over the question. It is why it was refreshing to hear that the Library of Congress has a new exhibit called "Hope for America: Performance, Politics and Pop Culture," drawn from the Bob Hope Collection, which was donated to the Library by the Hope family in 1998.

Rush Limbaugh

Unfortunately, as with so much that affects our popular culture, this man's legacy is also an excuse to unveil a leftist political agenda, the likes of which Hope would be the first to denounce.

On display are items from Hope's personal papers, joke files, films, and radio and TV broadcasts. This exhibit really makes you feel that the 20th century was more like distant history. It follows that it would be educational to walk students through exhibits like this to give them information that we older people have deeply ingrained in our memories.

Alan Gevinson, the Library of Congress exhibit curator, told that Hope's daughter Linda and son Kelly have seen the exhibit and approved of it. But that doesn't mean a Bob Hope fan wouldn't expect more than this.

Unfortunately, this exhibit seems to consider Hope merely an excuse for a much broader exhibit sprawling all over a myriad of topics. It gives the impression that what the library calls its "treasured" Hope Collection would fit in about three boxes. Much of its Hope Collection material is contained in the very back of the exhibit space in dimly lit corners where it's hard to even read the exhibits.

Brent Bozell

Founder and President of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell runs the largest media watchdog organization in America.
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